Embrace the abundance that is you.

This audio post Bearing Your Abudance will show you how. To listen, click on the link, and you should automatically be able to hear it. If not, right click the link, then save to your desktop to listen on your own audio software.

Shades of Gray

June 17, 2012

One of the greatest lessons I have learned in my exploration of our temporal relationship is that being on time is a relative thing. When we allow our lives to be dictated by hours, we automatically engage in clock combat. We establish, in a way, rigid, mechanistic thinking. Our world becomes black and white. We are either on time or we are not. And in a black and white world, there is no room for shades of gray.

My dear friend Arielle Ford taught me a new concept of time: that of divine timing. As we drove a book project to completion, deadlines and timelines somehow became my lifeline. I breathlessly engaged in clock combat to ensure I stayed on track. That is, until she uttered the simple phrase: “It will come in divine time.” She never once pushed the creative process, but instead allowed herself to be enveloped in it. It was one of the most beautiful times of my professional life to be enshrouded with such love, trust and courage.

I am reminded of that trust as I think about how much we worry about being on time in our Western culture. Punctuality is a revered trait in Germany in particular. And I agree that it shows respect to be on time for events, appointments, etc. But some things cannot be pushed into a timeline. Nor can they be foreseen. Some experiences simply happen, such as a crazy GPS that leads you astray until you realize it might just have been your angels that averted disaster for you on the road.

Going slowly and absorbing the meaning behind the experience allow you to savor the beauty and flavor of life.

In April I had meticulously planned a conference trip to Berlin that included an early morning flight from Munich. Thinking that no one else would be up that early, I took the latest bus possible from remote parking to the airport itself. When I saw the long line at security, I could feel myself putting on my combat boots against time. In a very uncharacteristic move (those of you who know me – stop laughing!), I excused myself throughout the entire line to the front, explaining my gate was about to close. By some miracle, the security turned a blind eye to my four bags of liquid products and let me through. As I rushed to the gate, which had changed last-minute, I saw that my flight had been delayed by 45 minutes. I slipped off my invisible boots and apologized to time for my lack of trust. In the end, I made it to the conference, despite an hour’s ride through Berlin, just in time.

When we trust in divine timing, life works smoothly. Even when we think we are going down the wrong road, we are always exactly where we need to be. When you tune into that inner knowing, that inner GPS, the mystery that is your life reveals itself. Are you listening?

Memorex recently commissioned Harris Interactive to conduct a study on how much time families spend together and what they do during that time. Given that the power of slow is about what we do with the time we have, I was particularly interested in this chart.

We watch movies together. Admittedly, that’s what we did over the Christmas holidays. We also played video games on the XBOX Kinect that my husband insisted on getting for himself the kids.

But then we unplugged altogether and spent a week in the mountains playing board games, skiing and all the other non-digital things you see on the chart above.

I was surprised to see that video games landed lower on the list than expected. Perhaps it is because children use video games alone a lot more than with their parents.

The types of games conducive to ‘family play’ were also illuminating.

For over half of families (51 percent), “WeTime” – getting together with family to enjoy each other’s company, whether planned or spontaneous – happens at least every few days. Of the most popular WeTime activities for families, three out of the top five involve consumer electronics.

It is true that we still spend time together. But how we do it has changed. As we think about our digital faces versus our real-life ones (Late Bloomer Bride addresses this condundrum), I wonder how our children will interact with their kids one day.

One thing’s for certain: There is life beyond the screen. I’m still convinced that a good old-fashioned game of football trumps an XBox one.